Leasing 101

Need to find a rental in Toronto? I can help.

Today’s rental market is competitive and moves fast. To get your application accepted you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared before starting your search. Here’s what you need to know and how I can help.


Before we begin

Landlords are looking for responsible tenants who pay rent on time and treat their home with respect. We need to prove that we are capable of that without ever meeting them. We can do this through a complete and well-organized application.

In order to submit an application we’ll need to provide the following for each person living in the unit:

  • Employment Letter — including salary, job title and length of employment

  • Credit history including credit score — download from Equifax, Transunion, Credit Karma, or Borrowell

  • Rental Application — This is a standard form provided by OREA (Ontario Real Estate Association) click here to download

  • Photo ID – Driver’s license, passport, or other government issued ID

You may also be asked to provide pay stubs to verify your income, depending on the landlord.

Tip: Include a photo of you in the application. This isn’t required, but it makes a big difference when a landlord can put a face to an application.

The search

To start your search, fill out my renter questionnaire so I can see your wish-list. I’ll set up a custom email alert which will email you once per day with units that fit your criteria.

Once you start receiving units, just tell me which units you like and and we will go check them out. I’ll always give you advice on the locations and buildings and if I think they’re worth seeing.

Don’t be surprised when units you like get leased quickly – it happens all the time. Some units can get rented within a day of being on the market. To secure a great place we'll need to see it fast.

Use a simple rating system as you’re moving through the units to keep track of your top 3. Most people rate units on location, size, layout and amenities.

Tip: Wear shoes that are easy to take on and off when we're out for viewings.

Submitting an application

We found the perfect place! Now what? We’ll review the details of your application – offer price, move-in date, etc., and then I’ll prepare your offer along with all the supporting documents. It can take up to two business days before we hear back from a landlord. Once your offer has been accepted, you’ll need to provide a bank draft or certified cheque for first and last month's rent within 24 hours of acceptance. Make sure you’ve got the funds in an accessible account.

Tip: Decisiveness is key. In this market, it’s not possible to spend a day or two considering an apartment. Great units can easily get 2 or 3 offers within a day.

Accepted application

Once your offer has been accepted you will usually require the following prior to move-in:

  • 10 Post Dated Cheques

  • Tenants Insurance — Usually costs $15–$25 per month

  • Hydro Confirmation — Most units will require you to set up your own hydro account  (cost will vary but expect to budget $35–$50 per month for a one bedroom)

  • Key Deposit — This can range from $100–$300 and is refunded when the keys are returned on move-out

The tenants insurance and hydro confirmation are usually sent to the landlord about a week prior to move-in

Moving day

You’ll need to reserve an elevator which should be done as quickly as possible after application acceptance. Hire movers if you need them – I can help with that. We will provide the landlord with the post-dated cheques and they will provide us with the keys. We'll do a brief inspection of the unit with you so we can make sure there aren’t any issues.


If you've got any questions about the process that I haven't answered you can give me a call at 416-726-3274 or email me at connect@nalinsharma.com.